Working with Children Checks: Changes to Screening

Important Update: From 1st July 2019, changes to screening for Working with Children Checks will come into effect.


Changes to screening South Australia has introduced stronger, more effective, and transparent screening laws for people working or volunteering with children.

The new laws mean that, from 1 July 2019, everyone working or volunteering with children must have valid child-related screening.

These changes were recommended as part of South Australian and federal royal commissions, to help keep children safe in our communities. The new working with children check (WWCC) that is being introduced from 1 July 2019 replaces the current system, where people can have either a Department of Human Services (DHS) child-related employment screening, or a National Police Certificate assessed by their employer/volunteer-involving organisation.

Key changes include:

  • WWCCs replace all other types of child-related employment screening checks.

  • People can apply for their own WWCC, to help them be job-ready

  • Organisations can no longer use National Police Certificates for people working or volunteering with children. Only the South Australian Department of Human Services (DHS) Screening Unit can do a WWCC.

  • A WWCC is valid for five years and is portable across organisations and roles in South Australia.

There will be transitional arrangements to make it easier for people to move to the new scheme:

  • All current, valid DHS/DCSI childrelated employment screening clearances will be recognised as WWCCs under the law, until they expire.

  • Certain industries will have staggered entry times to the new scheme, to help them transition smoothly.

  • National Police Certificates assessed by organisations are valid for working with children until 1 July 2020.

For most people working or volunteering with children, the transitional arrangements mean they don’t need to do anything to be ready for the new laws starting on 1 July 2019.

You can download the full information pack here.

What Does this mean for Surf Life Saving Clubs?

The new laws mean that from the 1st July 2019, everyone working or volunteering with children must have a valid child-related screening. So please remember if you haven’t done so already to send us your list of prescribed persons so that we can initiate the check from our end before the 1st of July.

There will be a transitional arrangement to make it easier for people to move to the new checks. All current working with children checks are valid until they expire.

Surf Life Saving SA is committed to the Safeguarding of Children and Young people and as such are focused on providing a safe and supportive environment for children and young people and helping clubs to do the same. Here is a link to the Information kit that has been produced by the Department of Human Services and contains information on the new laws. Please share this with your members so they are aware of how the changes will affect them.

In the coming weeks, we will be sending out new procedures on how our Clubs and SLSSA will operate under this new framework into the future. For now though, please ensure you send us your list of prescribed persons or if you can initiate the checks yourself do so, to ensure that our Organisation remains a safe and welcoming environment for our children and young people.”

If you have any further questions, please contact State Office via or call on 08 8354 6900.